Corona vaccination obligation: plans of the supporters in the Bundestag now known

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From: Astrid Theil

Seven traffic light deputies call for compulsory vaccination for everyone over the age of 18. © Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa

In a few days, the Bundestag will be debating the introduction of a general obligation to vaccinate. Now the exact plans of the supporters have become known.

Berlin – Next Wednesday (January 26th) there will be a debate for the first time about a general corona vaccination requirement in the Bundestag. Now details of the plans of the supporters have been published. The deputy SPD parliamentary group leader Dirk Wiese, who, together with other members of the traffic light coalition, is preparing the key points for compulsory vaccination from the age of 18, told the German press agency Details.

According to the plans, the obligation should be limited to one to two years, apply to no more than three vaccinations and be implemented through fines. A vaccination register should not be created due to the large amount of time required. Exceptions to the vaccination requirement should also be checked by the public health officer. On Friday, Wiese, together with six politicians from the Greens and FDP, announced a group application for compulsory vaccination from the age of 18 in a letter to all members of the Bundestag with the exception of the AfD. In all probability, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) will also support this application. The plans of the coalition MPs contain the following points in detail:

Compulsory vaccination: An overview of the plans of the coalition MPs

  • In the group application of the coalition MPs, an obligation for three vaccinations is provided. The reason: “On the basis of the current studies, one can say that with three vaccinations one has achieved a good basic immunization against a severe course,” says Wiese. Additional booster vaccinations should be voluntary.
  • The vaccination requirement will not apply forever, but only for two years. Because from a certain point in time there will be such a high level of basic immunity that vaccination is no longer necessary. According to experts, this will not be the case after just a few months, but rather after one to two years.
  • Vaccination refusers should be sanctioned with fines. The application is thus opposed to coercive measures such as compulsory detention. According to the law on administrative offenses, fines range from five to 1,000 euros “unless the law stipulates otherwise”. An amount in the “mid three-digit range” is currently being advocated. In the case of non-payment, one could consider an individual penalty payment, according to Wiese. “So you could then also take personal living conditions into account when determining the amount.” According to the Administrative Enforcement Act, the upper limit for a fine is 25,000 euros.
  • A vaccination requirement could be implemented, among other things, by recording vaccinations in a central register. However, creating this would take a long time and is sometimes in conflict with data protection. Since, according to Wiese, the obligation to vaccinate is primarily there to “get through next autumn and winter”, setting up a vaccination register is not practicable because it would take too long. The obligation to vaccinate could be carried out by information technology via the health insurance companies or municipalities.
  • Those for whom there are health reasons against vaccination are exempted from the obligation. However, this should not be confirmed by a family doctor, but only by a medical officer. The background to this is that there are also doctors who oppose vaccination and fear that they could unjustifiably issue exemption certificates.
  • The decision on the introduction of a general obligation to vaccinate should be made in the Bundestag at the end of March. Before the law comes into force, it still has to be passed by the Bundesrat. There should then be a kind of grace period during which the unvaccinated can be immunized in order to avoid sanctions. In plain language: If the Bundestag agrees at the end of March, the vaccination requirement will come into force between June and August.

Other plans: No compulsory vaccinations or compulsory vaccinations after the age of 50

However, these plans are not without competition. The FDP politician Andrew Ullmann is currently preparing an application for compulsory vaccination from the age of 50. The Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki (FDP), in turn, has already submitted one against compulsory vaccination. Kubicki fears that chaos will result from the implementation of compulsory vaccination.

Current surveys show that public approval for general corona vaccination in Germany has fallen slightly. However, there is still a clear majority in favor of this. According to a survey by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the German Press Agency, 60 percent are in favor of general vaccination, 32 percent are against it, and 8 percent do not provide any information. At the beginning of December, 63 percent were still in favor and only 30 percent against.

The majority of the population is in favor of compulsory vaccination: especially the age group over 55

A few days after the first vaccination in Germany on December 26, 2020, in a YouGov survey, 56 percent were still against compulsory vaccination and only 33 percent were in favor. According to the current survey, approval of compulsory vaccination increases with age. Of the 18 to 24 year olds, only 48 percent are in favor and 35 percent are against. In the over-55 age group, 68 percent are in favor and only 26 percent are against. (at/dpa)

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